Lady’s mantle, a plant with progesterone-like effects

Benefits of Alchemilla

Antioxidant, decongestant and luteinizing, the leaves of the lady’s mantle are filled to the brim with therapeutic virtues. A plant of the Rosaceae family, lady’s mantle is also called “lion’s foot”, “Our Lady’s cloak”, “dew-catcher”, or “plant of the alchemists”. Its scientific name “Alchemilla“describes the¬† green stem with reddish hues, and its circular leaves with serrated forms. Each fuzz-covered leaf has seven to eleven lobes.

Lady’s mantle, a little history

Historical uses of AlchemillaThe origin of the name “lady’s mantle” goes back centuries and comes from alchemists who used the dew from its leaves in the preparation of the philosopher’s stone. They considered it a celestial water.

Although lady’s mantle was discovered in the Middle Ages, it was in the early 20th century that its decongestant effects were proven by Johann K√ľnzle, a Swiss priest and herbalist. They knew it eased premenstrual pains and helped prepare for childbirth.

Over time, therapists have revealed the astringent, healing virtues of this plant. Thanks to its action that’s similar to that of progesterone, lady’s mantle is a luteinizer. It’s also an anti-hemorrhagic, a healer, an antioxidant, and an anti-diarrheal.

Lady’s Mantle: Properties and Health Benefits

Properties and benefits of lady's mantleWhat are the properties of lady’s mantle? What benefits does it offer for health? How can you use it to get the most out of its beneficial effects? Are there any contraindications? Let’s take a look at these questions.

Flavonoids are present in lady’s mantle. This medicinal property in its leaves helps fight heavy legs by promoting blood circulation. It’s also a very effective antioxidant. It also contains salicylic acid, phytosterols, saponins, and palmitic and stearic acids. Lady’s mantle is an astringent and calming plant. It also has the following properties:

  • Antispasmodic: Therapists recommend it for treating gastrointestinal disorders and gynecological issues: painful and irregular periods, premenstrual syndrome.
  • Anti-diarrheal: For mild diarrhea, this medicinal plant is recommended, even for pregnant women.
  • Decongestant: Its effectiveness is appreciated when applied locally for heavy legs.
  • Healing thanks to its content of gallic tannins: it stops hemorrhages, helps in the healing of wounds and skin ulcers.

Lady’s mantle is also used in the preparation of medications for leucorrhea. Its essential oil is found in oral hygiene products, particularly for treating canker sores and stomatitis.

Usage and practical advice

Lady's mantle useThe consumption of lady’s mantle is primarily intended for women, and it’s mostly done as a infusion or decoction.

  • To ease painful periods or stop mild diarrhea in pregnant women, prepare an infusion by pouring 0.07 to 0.14 oz of leaves (2 to 4 g) into 1 cup of water (200 ml). Let it infuse. Drink 2 to 3 cups per day.
  • Decoctions of alchemilla alleviate gynecological disorders. To prepare them, put 0.25 oz of dried leaves (7 g) in 1 cup of water (200 ml). Drink 2 to 4 cups per day.
  • Relieve heavy legs with an external use of lady’s mantle infusion. Prepare it with 1 ¬ĺ oz of dried aerial parts (50 g) in 1 quart of water (1 litre), then add it to your bath water.

Contraindications

Even though its health benefits are well-documented, it’s worth noting that lady’s mantle should be avoided in certain cases. It’s contraindicated for people on oral contraceptives, and those prone to gastritis or ulcers.

It’s a plant that can cause or even promote constipation if taken for a long period or in high doses. People at risk of thrombosis or phlebitis, and those undergoing treatment with anti-vitamin K should also avoid consuming lady’s mantle. As a precaution, ask your doctor.


Images: 123RF: fotohelin, CC BY 2.0: Eddi; Pixabay: Hans Braxmeier